Bodies of NC couple found after shootout on West Virginia highway

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Gunfire on a West Virginia interstate is linked to a house fire in North Carolina

The bodies of a Granville County couple were discovered after a shootout with police on a West Virginia highway Thursday.

Investigators said the bizarre chain of events started around 7 a.m. on New Year's Day when two men burst into the home of Jerome Faulkner, 73, and his wife Dora, 62, near Oak Hill, NC - northwest of Oxford. The house was set on fire and the couple murdered and taken along with their pickup truck.

Then, around 4 p.m. on Interstate 64 West near the Lewisburg, West Virginia exit, two police officers pulled over a white Chevrolet SUV with a North Carolina license plate that showed it was stolen. Troopers said the SUV was driven by 21-year-old Eric Alexander Campbell.

During the stop, a red Chevy pickup truck pulled over at the same time. The driver of the truck - 54-year-old Edward Campbell - got out and shot at the police officers with a pistol, wounding both. Lt. Michael Baylous of the West Virginia State Police said one officer returned fire, wounding the the older Campbell in the leg.

Baylous said the younger Campbell fled the scene in the SUV up the highway, but later got out and hid behind an interstate guardrail for a short amount of time. He eventually walked back up to the highway and turned himself in without incident.

The older Campbell fled on foot over a hillside next to the shooting scene, but was eventually taken into custody by the Greenbrier County Sheriff's Department, Baylous said.

During a search, authorities found the bodies of the Faulkners under a mattress in the bed of the truck.

Troopers said the Campbells claim to be father and son from Texas, Baylous said. The father allegedly was the one driving the truck who fired on the officers. Deputies told ABC11 Friday that it's possible the pair stole a car in Texas, but it wasn't clear where. Detectives were trying to determine what other crimes they might be tied to. Federal authorities are involved because the case crosses state lines.

What the men's connection - if any - is to the dead couple is under investigation. Officials said the Faulkners were a beloved couple in the Granville County area. Jerome worked with Granville County EMS and served as a volunteer fire chief.

Their home is in a quiet country area. They're survived by two sons.

The couple attended Mountain Creek Church in Oxford.

"We're going to lean on each other to get through this. This is new to all of us," said Johnny Richard, the pastor of Mountain Creek Church.

The two Lewisburg officers and the suspected shooter were being treated for injuries that were not life-threatening.

The two suspects face a minimum of charges of malicious assault and attempted murder of a police officer in Greenbrier County and more charges are expected. The younger Campbell was booked into the Greenbriar County jail. Police said the father would be charged once he is released from the hospital.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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